Alumni Newsletter: September 2016

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Beloved Alumni: Come to Spain with us!


We are so proud of all we have accomplished this year, and we continue to look forward to the upcoming 2016-2017 concert season. We are even more excited to invite all of our alumni and friends of choral arts to join us on our tour of Southern Spain during May 2017!

We will be sharing our music and experiencing all that Spanish culture has to offer in Seville, Malaga, Cordoba, and Granada. Click here to see an itinerary and here to register. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to tour managers John Larson ( and Chris Palmer (

Our Spain tour is set to be a trip to remember, so sign up today!

Mark Your Calendars for Our 2016-2017 Season

Here’s some info on our coming season.

Happy Anniversary, Dolce

This year, Dolce is celebrating its 10th Season and 45 years of Women at Lehigh University! There will be several special performances and events featuring women of Lehigh Choral Arts. To open the season, Choral Arts women will premiere a specially-commissioned work by composer Reena Esmail, “I Rise: Women in Song” on November 4th and 5th in Zoellner Arts Center.  This twenty-minute long work is written for the women of Lehigh Choral Arts and orchestra. In honor of all our women alumni of Dolce and Lehigh University Choral Arts, we would like to extend an invitation to join us and perform this beautiful work!  We also invite you to our Dolce Reunion on Saturday, November 5th to celebrate and reconnect with the extraordinary women of Lehigh. The deadline to register is quickly approaching, so please sign up before September 20th if you can join us in November! For more information, please email Madison Schenker at or fill out this form to register.

As seniors at Lehigh, we have deepened our love and appreciation for all that Lehigh Choral Arts has given us, and we are confident that this also true for our alumni. Once a Lehigh Singer, always a Lehigh Singer. Current Choral Arts members look forward to reconnecting with you at our upcoming concerts and during our tour of southern Spain.


John Larson (tour manager)
Chris Palmer (tour manager)

Sarah Dudney (manager)
Maggie Norsworthy (alumni relations)

P.S- Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! We would love to see your stories and pictures from your time singing at Lehigh.

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Rise UP!

November 4 & 5, 2016 8 PM

Lehigh University Choral Arts kicks off the season with music by three of today’s hottest choral composers. Lee conducts the world premiere of Reena Esmail’s* I Rise: Women in Song, commissioned to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Dolce, the LU women’s ensemble, and the 45th year of women at Lehigh. Also, the area premiere of Ola Gjeilo’s cinematically luminous Sunrise Mass and Sametz’s Doth Love Exist. *Ronald J. Ulrich Artist-in-Residence

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Join us on our 2017 Tour to SPAIN!

granada 1

May 23 – June 1st, 2017

Open to members of Lehigh University Choral Arts, alumni and families.

Lehigh University Choral Arts will be touring to Malaga, Granada, Cordoba and Seville. Along the way, there will be sight-seeing, flamenco-dancing, and singing in some of the most beautiful historic venues in Southern Spain.

All Lehigh singers and alumni singers will be involved in singing during the concerts. Non-singing friends and family are also welcome. Rehearsals will take place at Lehigh prior to departure.

To register for tour, click here

Spaces are limited, so we suggest signing up early


Monday, May 22   rehearsals at Lehigh for all those singing on tour

Tuesday, May 23 – USA – Granada(via Madrid)

8:45 PM Depart JFK on Iberian Air #6252 to Madrid.

Wednesday, May 24  Granada – Malaga (114 km)

  • 10.00 AM arrival in Madrid.
  • 11:40 AM Depart Madrid on Iberian flight #546
  • 12.45 PM Arrival in Granada, estimated time of departure from the airport is 2:00 PM
  • 3.30 PM approximate arrival in Malaga, check into our hotel
  • 5.30 PM Meet guides for a short walking tour to discover the charms of Malaga
  • 7.30 PM Dinner

Thursday, May 25 Malaga & CONCERT          

  • Buffet breakfastmalaga
  • 9:00 AM Orientation walk of downtown Malaga to give ideas of great ways to spend your day: Picasso Museum, Museum of Carmen Thyssen (fine examples of Spanish art and nice gift shop), and the Malaga Cathedral. All are within 10 minutes walk from our hotel. (In Malaga there is also an automobile museum, as well as a dollhouse museum!)
  • Lunch on your own
  • 16:00 PM Meet in hotel, walk to meeting with our host choir and rehearsal.
  • 8:00 PM CONCERT
  • Dinner after the concert

Friday, May 26 Malaga – Ronda – Sevilla & Flamenco Evening (110 km 1.45hr.) (139 km)

  • Breakfast Buffet
  • 9.30 AM Depart hotel
  • 11.30 PM stop for lunch together in the picturesque town of Ronda. Enjoy the breathtaking views in one of Andalusía’s most historic towns. It is best known for its striking view from the Puente Nova, which spans the El Tajo gorge.
  • 12:00 Lunch together in Ronda
  • 1.30 PM Departure from Ronda
  • 3.45 PM Arrival in Seville, check into hotel
  • 5.30 -7 PM Enjoy a stellar art experience at the Seville Museum of Fine Arts
  • 8.00 PM Dinner and Flamenco Evening

Saturday, May 27  Seville & CONCERT

  • Buffet breakfastseville
  • 9:00 AM Walking tour of Seville with 4 guides, including a visit to the Seville Cathedral, also originally a mosque, which was Christianized in the 13 th century. It is the largest Gothic cathedral and the third largest church in the world and was registered in 1987 by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The cathedral is also the burial site of Christopher Columbus.
  • 12.30 Free time and lunch on your own
  • 16.00 Return to hotel to freshen up and change for concert
  • 18.00 Rehearsal at concert site
  • Dinner afterwards with members of the University of Seville Choir


Sunday, May 28 Seville – Cordoba (140 km)

  • Buffet breakfast
  • 10.30 Depart for Cordoba, a 2 hour drive
  • 1.00 PM Lunch on your own in Cordoba, followed by hotel check in
  • 4.00 PM Our guides will meet us for a 2 hour walking tour to get acquainted with the city of Cordoba, especially the intriguing Jewish Quarter.
  • Cordoba was founded by the Romans and became a port city of great importance, used for shipping olive oil, wine and wheat back to ancient Rome. The Romans built the mighty bridge crossing the river, now called “El Puente Romano”. But Cordoba’s hour of greatest glory was when it became the capital of the Moorish kingdom of El-Andalus. (Islamic Iberia) in the 8 th century. As well as the unique mosque-cathedral, Cordoba’s treasures include the Alcazar, or Fortress, built by the Christians in 1328; the Calahorra Fort, originally built by the Arabs, which guards the Roman Bridge, and the ancient Jewish Synagogue, now a museum. Cordoba’s medieval quarter, once the home of the Jewish community, is called “La Judería”
  • 6.00 PM Go by bus to our concert site, the Santa Maria Magdalena Church, to meet and briefly sing
  • joint pieces with the choir of the University of Cordoba
  • 8.00 PM Dinner
  • 9.30 PM Return to hotel

Monday, May 29  – Cordoba & CONCERT

  • Buffet breakfastcordoba
  • 9:30 Visit to the “Mosque Cathedral” of Cordoba
  • Work began in the 8th century on the Great Mosque, or “Mezquita”;, which – after several centuries of additions and enlargements – became one of the largest and most magnificent in all of Islam. When the city was re-conquered by the Christians in 1236, the new rulers of the city were so awed by its beauty that they left it standing, building their cathedral in the midst of its rows of arches and columns, and creating the extraordinary church-mosque we see today.
  • 11.00 Free time and lunch on your own
  • 2 PM Meet at hotel, take bus to concert site for rehearsal
  • 4 PM Return to hotel to freshen up and change for our concert.
  • 6.30 PM Depart by bus to concert site
  • 8:00 PM CONCERT
  • Afterwards, dinner together with Cordoba singers


Tuesday, May 30Cordoba – Olive Farm – Granada (201 km)

  • Buffet breakfast
  • 9.00 Depart for Granada, a 2.5 hour drive
  • Make a stop at an olive oil press to learn how olives are harvested and oil is extracted. In this region
  • 10% of the world’s olive oil is produced. You will also be able to buy a bottle to take home.
  • 12.30 PM Lunch on your own in Granada
  • 2.30 PM Check into our hotel
  • 4.30 PM Meet our guides for a walking tour to discover the charms of Granada
  • 7.30 PM Dinner on your own.

Wednesday, May 31  Granada – Alhambra Visit – and CONCERT

  • Buffet breakfastgranada
  • 9.00 Depart for the Alhambra, for a 2-hour visit and time on your own
  • The Alhambra was originally constructed as a small fortress in the 9th Century on the remains of Roman fortifications and rebuilt in the mid-13th century by the Moorish emir of the Emirate of Granada, who built its current palace and walls. After the Christian Reconquista in 1492, the site became the Royal Court of Ferdinand and Isabella (where Christopher Columbus allegedly received royal endorsement for his expedition)
  • 12.30 Depart Alhambra
  • 13.30 Lunch on your own in Granada
  • 3.30 PM Meet in hotel to freshen up and change for concert
  • 5.00 PM Rehearsal in the Sacred Heart Church, possible concert site (TBA)
  • 6.30 PM We are joined by partner choir
  • 8.00 PM CONCERT
  • Farewell dinner after the concert

Thursday, June 1 – Malaga – USA

  • Buffet breakfast
  • 10:30 AM Depart the hotel for the airport
  • 1:25 PM Depart Granada on Iberian flight #547 to Madrid, arriving at 2:30 PM
  • 4:50 PM Depart Madrid on Iberian flight #6253 to JFK, arriving at 7:05 PM



On all four concert days, you will be invited to

participate in extra activities while the choir is

rehearsing.  We will offer a museum visit, an escorted

walk to a special place of interest or assistance to arrange

individual plans you may have.

Participation is entirely voluntary, of course!

(On certain days, you may decide you’d like to visit

a café or go shopping

during this extra time.)

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child req asa

Local school students visit Lehigh for Child’s Requiem performance


Members of the University Choir were on hand Saturday, November 7th, to welcome middle school students whose words were used as texts in Doc’s oratorio, A Child’s Requiem.Early in the composition process, Doc sent out a call to schools nationwide, to better understand the perspectives and attitudes of children who experience violence in their neighborhoods. Two schools – the Swain School in Allentown, PA, and the Hamilton Disston School in Philadelphia, PA – were particularly helpful. Many of these students’ poignant words would directly make their way into the oratorio, giving A Child’s Requiem its signature impact.

As a small token of our gratitude, these students were treated to a fun afternoon and evening on Lehigh’s campus with members of the Choir. After introductions over lunch at Upper Cort, all traveled down the hill to the bookstore, where each student picked out a Lehigh t-shirt to bring home with them. Ice cream at the Cup came next, followed by a campus tour, led by our very own John Larson, ’17. Stops on the tour included Linderman Library, Lamberton Hall and Hawk’s Nest, and the Asa Packer statue outside of the Alumni Memorial Building.

child req asaAfter dinner at Rathbone, the students attended the evening’s performance, and were specially recognized during the applause (and received a standing ovation!). The day ended with a dessert social in Zoellner’s Black Box with President Simon.

All of the students had a fantastic time– many asked for individual pictures with Doc, and wanted Choir members to sign their programs!

I remember thinking that they should have been signing our programs. They were the real stars of the evening. It was an honor to spend the day with them, and to have been a part of their first memories of Lehigh.

Special thanks to our very own Hayley Goodman, ’18, for organization/coordination of the event, and for making such a memorable day possible for these students!


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DOLCE: Raise Your Voice – a great success!


raise-your-voice-1This past Friday night, February 19th, I had the pleasure of joining Dolce in co-hosting “Raise Your Voice,” a gala concert featuring women artists at Lehigh. Guests arrived at an intimately set Lamberton Hall to hear students, faculty, and staff perform everything from jazz, to musical theater, to the debut of a new fight song, “Lehigh Women,” written by Michelle Sanabria ’15. Sharing the stage with not only fellow students, but with some of my former professors as well, I really felt the sense of community among women of Lehigh that this event aimed to create.

Friday night was such a success (we had to scramble to set up extra chairs right before the concert started!) that I am already looking forward to the next big thing on our radar. On November 4th and 5th, Dolce will be celebrating its tenth year (!!!) with a concert in Baker Hall which will include the world premiere of I Rise, a piece commissioned  from Los Angeles composer Reena Esmail for Dolce. All Dolce alumnae are invited back for this performance – more details coming on this soon.

It has gotten to that point in the year where many of us seniors, myself included, have no idea where we’ll be in six months, but I am certainly hoping to make it back to Lehigh for this one – and I hope you will, too!

– Kristen McArthur ’16



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choir camp jonas

Winter Choir Camp vs. Winter Storm Jonas

For 60+ years, the University Choir has held retreats before coming back to class in the fall.  More recently, we have started a tradition of returning prior to the January start of classes.  Very few choir camps, however, have been so affected by massive snowstorms. It’s a testament to the bonds of this group that members of the University Choir braved winter storm Jonas and trekked across campus, while most people would have rather curled up on a couch at home.

We made the best of it, though, and the best of it turned out to be pretty great. Doc realized there was no place for us go beside rehearsal – so we accomplished what singers at Lehigh have always done: we made music!  And also went sledding, as you can see from the photo.  

Seeing the Valley’s heaviest snowstorm in decades with friends made this an unforgettable choir camp

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Christmas Vespers on PBS

This past December, Lehigh University Choral Arts was lucky enough to have PBS39 (WLVT-TV) record our Christmas Vespers concert. Check out this clip of “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming” (which featured the LED light display originally used for Founder’s Day), and “Alleluia, Amen.”

Many thanks to PBS39 for providing us with the full concert footage!

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